Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the scope of the Kalamazoo Public Library government collection?

In 1907, Kalamazoo Public Library was designated a Federal Depository Library which acquires, houses and maintains government information in various formats. The federal depository collection is strong in these areas: census and legal information; conservation; gardening; travel; business, defense and popular government periodicals.

KPL served as a State Depository until 2006. KPL holds many runs of Michigan publications, such as the Senate and House journals, Michigan Manual, Michigan History magazine, along with individual publications such as Building and Residential Codes. The library maintains city, county and regional documents in the Local History room, as well as display documents, materials from federal, state and regional agencies on topics of current interest made available for public examination.

Today, a majority of government information can be found online. A selection of government information websites along with other government related resources can be found in the Government Topic Guide

2. How do I find government information at KPL?

Many of our government publications are found in our catalog. Search for them by title, subject, named author, or the publishing government agency (using a “words or phrase” search). Additionally, paper indexes listing all KPL holdings of federal and state documents are located in the Documents Reference Area in the Tech Center on the second floor of the Central Library. Please see the Reference Desk for help using these card catalog indexes. Additionally, view selected federal and state websites for frequently-requested information and useful search engines in our government Topic Guide.

3. Where are government publications located?

  • Many publications have been incorporated into the ReferenceLawLocal History and circulating collections at the Central library.
  • Several federal government periodicals have been incorporated into the magazine collection.
  • Most of the government publications are kept together in a special collection in document storage. To access these materials, please go to the Reference Desk on the second floor of the Central Library.

4. Who may access government information at KPL?

Anyone may access government information at KPL, both in print and electronic formats, regardless of whether they have a KPL library card.

Computers in front of the Reference Desk at the Central Library are available for looking up government information online.  Sign on using your library card. If you do not have a library card, you may go to the Circulation Desk for a visitor’s pass.

Most print materials remain in the building, and may be accessed during all open hours of the Central Library. Some publications may be checked out using your current valid KPL library card.

5. Who can help me find what I need?

Please contact staff at the Reference Desk for assistance, or email the Government Information Coordinator. You may also chat online with a government resources librarian(Note that this service connects you with a librarian who does not work at KPL.)